Terrapin Mountain Trail

MODERATE 4 reviews
#7 of 55 trails in

Terrapin Mountain Trail is a 9.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Big Island, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

9.3 miles 2801 feet Loop

dog friendly



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


The two overlooks provide fantastic views of Apple Orchard Mountain, Thunder Ridge, and the Peaks of Otter. There is also a waterfall beside the trail near the end of the hike.

trail running
18 days ago

Fantastic trail. I went with my dog at the end of December. The first 3 miles of the trail are very challenging as you gain about 2000 feet. The false summit at 1.5 miles has great views particularly with no leaves on the trees. When you get to the summit you can walk out to some boulders that overlook the surrounding peaks. The terrain is pretty good for trail running throughout but there are a couple of rocky areas. I agree with an earlier post that water is necessary for the dogs for the first 4 miles or so but after that there is plenty of water with Reed Creek and streams that you cross. Highly recommended for great views and varied terrain.

6 months ago

Love this trail! Definitely difficult but well worth it. The path is very diverse and saw awesome scenery of the valley, the blue ridge, and mountain streams. Would definitely recommend this trail to someone who doesn't mind hiking long distances and though mixed terrain. At times the path did get a little bit thicker and at one point the underbrush was up to my waist and covered the trail, so be prepared for an adventure!

9 months ago

1 year ago

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike. It is long, and it is challenging. We started at the kiosk at the end of Terrapin Lane. We chose to hike to the summit, then descend to Reeds Creek and walk around the southern base of the mountain back to our car. When we were there in late May, the rhododendron were in full riot, and the mountain laurel were just beginning to bloom. There are only a few overlooks, which is a shame. We will return this fall or winter during leaf off, because the views promise to be spectacular. There are significant climbs during the first 2 miles of the trail. The descent from the summit is a bit wicked as well. It took us about 20 minutes to come down 1/2 mile for picking out our footing. But once you get to Camping Gap, it is level enough to make quick time. If you are hiking with dogs, be sure to bring water for them for the first 4 miles. They WILL need it. Once you get to Reeds Creek (around the 5 mile mark) they will have plenty of access to water.